Hoi An Adventures...















Let's see...where did I leave off?  Back from Sapa on overnight train.  Flight on the 28th to Da Nanag, and then arrived in Hoi An.  So, here I am in Hoi An.  It is a beautiful old town.  It is much smaller compared to Hanoi, and I love it here.  There is a city center where only pedestrian and bicycle traffic is allowed.  There are a million shops and restaurants in the city center and it is really cool.  I guess the whole town of Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage sight.  I can see why.  It is an amazing town.  Anyway, arrived in Hoi An and was beat.  So I checked into my swanky hotel and had a pool day.  I needed some relaxation and it was great.  Then into town for dinner.  This afternoon, the 29th, I went on a motorcycle adventure!!!  I booked a half day tour with this company in town and they have these old, I mean old, Russian bikes called Minsk's.  They are pretty awesome.  Only place in Vietnam where you can ride an authentic communist bike in an communist country.  I thought that was pretty cool.  I was supposed to go with a group of four other people, but when I showed up, they had all cancelled so they let me go on the tour by myself.  Normally they would cancel but since I was so excited about it, they decided to let me go.  So, off to the garage to meet my guide and pick up my bike!  My guide was this English bloke, named Joe.  He is a really cool guy.  Been living in Vietnam for 2 years.  Since I had bike experience and I was the only one on the tour he asked if it would be ok if we tried some new routes.  Places he had never been before.  I was up for it for sure!!  So, we were off.  Driving a bike in town was the most scary and nerve wracking part of the whole thing.  In fact Joe was in the lead and a lady on a bike couldn't make up her mind which way she wanted to go and Joe ran into her front wheel and laid down his cycle.  No one was hurt, and the lady felt bad because it was her fault.  No harm done.  On with the ride.  We made it to this one "road", really a dirt path, and he had never been on it before.  So after some discussion with me we decided to push on.  We came to this bridge with a ton of kids jumping off and swimming.  They wanted us to go swimming with them.  No thanks.  So after some discussion with the kids they told us we better turn around, the road didn't really lead to anywhere.  So, we did.  Next was a floating bridge.  It was slanted at about a 25 degree angle at some points.  Joe offered to take my bike across but said I would regret not doing it myself.  He was right.  I made it!!  I managed to keep the bike on the bridge and not go into the river.  Which was awesome.  Mostly we would just ride for a while and stop and have some water and talk and take some photos.  Joe was having a bad day, first with the hitting the lady then we were on another road and a big truck full of bamboo was parked on the side of the road.  Just as Joe came to the truck, a HUGE piece of bamboo fell off and he barely kept the bike up.  I had a great day.  No accidents for me.  Sorry Joe.  The Vietnam countryside is really beautiful.  And the people we met along the way greeted us with smiles and waves and "HELLO!!!!"  We would ride by schools, and all of a sudden 30 kids would be running towards the road to say hello and give us high five's.  It was amazing.  All the kids were so happy to see us and so excited.  The adults were super friendly too, but maybe not as excited as the kids.  I couldn't stop smiling the whole afternoon.  It was great.  We came to another floating bridge, and on the other side was the smallest woman I have ever seen in my life.  Joe said she is 79 years old and doesn't have much to do, so she waits by the bridge for the cycle tour to come through and see all the people and have her photo taken with everyone.  She LOVES to have her photo taken.  She would talk and talk to us and laugh.  Joe doesn't speak much Vietnamese, and I speak none, so it was interesting.  She gave me about 5 hugs before we left.  Nicest old lady ever.  After that, back to Hoi An and the garage for some beers.  Then back to the hotel and into town for some dinner.  Wow, this is a long post.  Dad, if you are reading this, I think I found some information about Hill 327.  The owner of the company is a real history buff so he had some information and thought he knew where it was.  I didn't get to see it on this tour, and probably won't be able to while I'm here.  I tried though.  Sorry for the long post today.  It was a good day.  One more day in Hoi An, then off to Saigon.  I think maybe I will go to the beach tomorrow.